Cyberpunk Review » Casshern

January 18, 2006


Year: 2004

Directed by: Kazuaki Kiriya

Written by: Kazuaki Kiriya et al.

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Very High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

Rating: 8 out of 10

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Overview: Like Immortel and Sky Captain, Casshern was one of the first movies filmed entirely on Blue or Green Screen. Casshern is by far the most ambitious of the three movies in terms of story complexity, symbols and messages conveyed, and in the scope of experimentation with visual effects. Unlike Sky Captain, this is NOT a feel-good Raiders-like fun romp. And unlike Immortel, which is also complex in scope, Casshern largely meets its intent from a story perspective. While Casshern is philosophically dense (I haven’t seen the anime yet, is it philosophically dense as well?), it does have some terrific action sequences. One of the best samurai sword duels I’ve seen happens here, as does some terrific robot vs. human fights. With its hard rock accompaniment, the action is almost matrix-like in quality.

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Casshern takes place in a very mechanized dystopian alternate future, in which the forces of Europa and the Greater Eastern Federation have been fighting a 50 year war for dominance. The Greater Eastern Federation has finally established control over the Eurasian continent, and now has to deal with the horrid side-effects the endless years of a chemical, biological, and nuclear war. The earth’s environment is in shambles, most of civilization has been wiped out and people usually wear protective masks when venturing outside.

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Its in this environment that Dr. Azuma, a genetic scientist, comes up with a solution to the maladies. He says he has discovered special “neo-cells” that can regenerate human tissue, and in effect, can create “replaceable parts” for the human body. An aging General with serious health problems jumps on this solution and sets Dr. Azuma up with a lab funded by the military. Casshern centers around the life of Dr. Azuma’s son Tetsuya, who in rebelling, decides to join the army. Unfortunately, he finds out that war is truly hell, and eventually ends up dying. His ghost comes back to say goodbye to his mother and fiancee, but things don’t go as planned. Unfortunately, Dr. Azuma’s research is not going very well. To extract more “Neo-cells,” the military ends up engaging in ethnic cleansing of the oldest part of Eurasia - sector 7. They bring back the body parts for the good doctor to use in extracting the Neo-cells.

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We find, however, that Sector 7 is inhabited by an ethnic group who were devout followers of a Gaurdian Spirit called Casshern. Casshern decides to make his presence felt and sends his lightning bolt down from the heavens, right into Dr. Azuma’s lab, and gives the Neo-cell “pool” the ability to bring the dead body parts back to life. After massive amounts of zombie-like people (later referred to as neo-sapiens) emerge from the pool (sparking the military to go all out in killing them), Dr. Azuma gets the idea that if he places his son Tetsuya in the pool, he will come back to life as well. This works, and Tetsuya gets reborn, but as a faster, stronger version of himself, just like the newly formed “neo-sapiens.”


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After the military hunts down and kills virtually all of the neo-sapiens, the few remaining Neo-sapiens escape to Sector 7, and after a cry for help, their prayers are answered when the Gaurdian Casshern sends them down an ancient stronghold, completely with robot warrior making capabilities. The rest of the movie involves the ongoing conflict between the Neo-sapiens and the Greater Eastern Federation, and the role that Tetsuya (who later takes the name Casshern when defending the local people) and his family plays in it. There is also a really nice love story that takes place between Tutsuya and Luna. They apparently have been fated for one another since birth, and will continue to be together throughout time.

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The Visuals: Casshern has some of the most astounding visuals on film. More impressive is the use of various color palettes and textures to represent various themes in the movie. Death is represented by streaking white aura around a person; war is represented in a black and white pixilated look; Impending doom is represented in yellow; green represents life; the Neo-sapiens have the dark blue and bright red colors, etc. Truly, the diversity in visual effects is the strong highpoint of the movie. Also, I found the choice of music accompaniment consistently terrific. The choices really add to the mood. Combined with the astounding visuals, we really get a tour-de-force type “blow you away” affect. . Casshern is also heavily laden with symbols and philosophical meaning. In addition to having a strong antiwar and anti-technology message, Casshern gives us interesting religious musings, and some thoughts on implications for cheating death, and a pretty powerful message for the need for co-existence with others. Most interestingly, Casshern is able to show pain and suffering on the individual “little person” level, and show how this affects the large scale picture.

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Overview: While difficult to understand (let me know if you want me to post a “page 2 spoiler” on this to explain it - it really is a very cool story), Casshern is simply an awesome picture that will develop a huge following over the years. Take the time to understand this, and you should love it. It is NOT a happy picture though, and is very emotional in tone.


~See movies similar to this one~

Tags: cyberpunk movie review

This post has been filed under Memory Modification, Utopia Surrounded by Poverty, Dystopic Future Movies, 8 Star Movies, Awesome Cyberpunk Visuals, Good low-budget movies, Cyberpunk movies from 2000 - 2009 by SFAM.


February 16, 2006

Neuromaster said:

Do you relly hava an explication, for this movie? I’m more then curios to here you interpretation!!!

February 17, 2006

SFAM said:

Hi Neuromaster, welcome! And yes, I do! Thanks for reminding me about this. I shall do my page 2 in the next day or so for you. :)

Neuromaster said:

THX man! I’ll wait then !!!

May 2, 2006

gridbug said:

CASSHERN was a wonderment from start to finish. I’d been wanting to see it for ages so I picked up the import DVD and my girlfriend and I settled in on a Saturday afternoon to take it all in. I’m not ashamed to admit that we were both actually crying at the end. This film is the real deal, the complete package. The audio/visual experience is top-notch (hurrah for DTS surround!) and the storyline in all its depth and human resonance is stunning. One wonders what the hell’s taking Miramax so long in releasing CASSHERN stateside… oh yeah, it’s probably because they’re MIRAMAX. *grrr*

May 3, 2006

SFAM said:

Hi Gridbug, I agree - Casshern is pretty wonderful. It really is a thinking person’s movie though, with symbols making up a big chunk of the narrative. If you just watch it for the action, you will be lost.

June 23, 2006

Dixie Flatline said:

I vehemently disagree with this review.

Yes, the visuals are pretty. This seems to completely blind people nowadays. Casshern does not hava coherent plot or well developed characters. In fact, it is absolutely clear that its makers were completely focused on the visuals, abandoning everything else. Casshern, in essence, is a two hour long music video devoid of content.

I’d be really interested to hear what this “philosophical meaning” is the reviewer speaks of. The realization that war makes humans inhuman? Oh please…. this is just pathetic. The whole bland Luddite anti-technology stand is also hardly anything new or “deep”.

Also please note that Casshern is much closer to Steampunk than Cyberpunk.

Jesse said:

While I agree, Dixie, that visuals seem to completely blind people nowadays, I also feel that people who arent handed the story to them from start to finish become confused and angry.

You are correct, in the end it’s very easy to see the point to the film. That does not mean that the simple moral to the story is all Casshern has to offer. You can not deny that the point of the film is, in fact, a beautiful one. One that should be understood by many. Also, you can not deny the labor of love that went into the visuals. For only 5 million dollars, Casshern makes most 40 million dollar American action epics look embarrassing.

Don’t let your first impression drag down the overall value of the film just because you feel there may be plotholes. I’ve seen this film around 7 or 8 times, each time I’ve realized something new that seemed hidden before. When runs a page 2 Im sure they will cover most of these cool little treasures.


The lightining bolt, the Buddah in the clouds, the robot factory and why it showed up, the momentarily flashed “ancient” looking white streaks and shapes and what they mean, what Barashin sees before he dies and why, why certain characters die and others do not, and most importantly the god, Casshern, and the plans he has in store for everyone and why knowing this makes everything in the plot make sense.


Finding out all of this on your own is what makes Casshern such a fantastic movie experience unlike any movie I have ever seen. I suggest that you give Casshern another chance before making any harsh opinions. There are tons of movies I’ve seen and seen again and did not like them. I may give them a few months or even a few years longer, pick them up again, and I have found a LOT of movies I’ve said I hated that I now consider some of the finer pieces of cinema I have ever seen.

SFAM said:

I do apologize for not posting a follow-up page. I have been remiss in this, and always seem to get caught up in other things. I just got back from a week’s travel, and will try my best to write something up this weekend.

Regarding Dixie’s comment, it’s cool that you vehemently disagree with the review, I have no problem with that. But believe it or not I actually wasn’t blinded by the visuals, I was looking at the symbols, which is where a good chunk of the coherent narrative resides. And Jesse has the right of it - The interesting part of Casshern deals with the intervention of the deity, Casshern, in defense of his people. That he does this through a technological means is a rather interesting twist. The movie clearly comes across on first viewing as incoherent to most - it really does require more than one viewing to get what’s going on. Then again, so do other movies (Revolutions, for instance) - many hate this requirement - I kind of enjoy a dense story that requires some thought to unpack.

Certainly the supernatural elements here make this almost a cyberpunk fantasy film, similar in that way to Immortel or even Brazil. Perhaps this is a category worth considering in terms of tagging the movies.

Glam Creature said:

Of course there’s always freedom to interpretate movie from one’s point, but one thing is really forgotten in this discussion - this movie has it’s context, and it should be kept in mind to fully understand what the movie is about. All the details, oftenly called “steampunk” - together with Soviet Union and Nazi symbolic, used in the movie, really reminds us that this movie should be disscused in context of World War II. Historical references to Japanese imperialism and militarism is obvious. Now having this context in mind, we can try to discover “philosophical meaning” about inhumanity and militarist philosophy in this movie, which uses those cyberpunkish retrofuturistic anime visuals to tell story about the real past, in the same time maybe trying to imagine how world would look if Germany and Japan would have won the war.

June 24, 2006

Jesse said:

Jesse said:

I meant to post this one:

But that first one is very informative as well.

Glam Creature said:

“the image is more important than the story”. Being much more “visual” than “narrative” myself, I totally agree.

BTW, there’s one interesting fact about Soviet Union and new race creation. I don’t know if it could have be some inspiration for “Casshern”, but I don’t think so; anyway it’s interesting. In 20’s - 30’s Stalin had (completely insane as himself) plan to create new race of completely acquiescent creatures to be super-warriors. So he had established secret laboratories where scientists tried to realize this plan by breeding human females and monkey males. Project was unsucesfull and was shat down.,10117,17630955-13762,00.html

June 25, 2006

Jesse said:


Very interesting article. I never had any idea.

August 8, 2006

Adam Doub said:

Casshern has alot of very interesting anti-war views, so it’s understandable that alot of people don’t care for it. I thought it was a truely wonderful story.

August 29, 2006

Jesse said:

Is there ANYONE out there that can tell me when in the hell Go Fish and Dreamworks are FINALLY going to decide to release this? I mean its been what 2 years now?

I know that Kazuaki Kiriya himself is overseeing the American edit and also including some remasterd deleted scenes. However, its next to impossible to find any new information regarding its American theatrical release.

I already own a wonderful Japanese version of it. I would just love to see a newly edited version on a huge screen and a giant sound system.

Its looking more and more like this may just get a sub par straight to DVD release.

Is there anyone that can help me?

January 1, 2007

Kyle said:

This movie is either incredibly self-indulgent, or perhaps simply suffers from some awful editing. The viewer is constantly hit with blasts of needless and needlessly confusing information. Example: the protagonist’s mother lies in the snow, apparently dying. Then the film cuts to another scene: the protagonist’s girlfriend remembers the funeral of her mother. Are the two mothers the same person? Is the protagonist’s girlfriend engaged to him, and thus referring to the protagonist’s mother as her own mother, and is this a flash forward to the funeral of *his* mother after she died in the snow? Or are the two mothers separate people? I never quite figured it out. Juxtaposing the two “mother” scenes like this adds needless confusion and interpretive noise, when the two scenes (if indeed both were truly necessary) could’ve easily been placed at different moments in the film. Alternatively, the funeral scene could’ve been simply eliminated, as it added nothing but confusion.

Moments of needless confusion and noise occur again and again throughout the film. Characters appear in particular locations with no explanation as to how they got there or why they are there. The characters’ motivations are incoherent. At one point, the primary antagonist of the film appears inexplicably with his robots at the professor’s lab and states that he and the protagonist are “brothers,” and then takes the protagonist away to his fortress. Why? What was he doing at the lab? Why did he go there? Why’d he take the protagonist away? Like, what was going on?

The reaction I have is a feeling that, as viewer, my own needs were simply ignored in the service of some kind of self-indulgent exhibitionism on the part of the filmmakers. I felt taken advantage of by the film, as if I was expected to do the work of plotting and character development in my own mind that the filmmakers did not bother to do. Plot *holes*? Holes in what? A hole implies some overall level of consistency in the plot that was breached. But the plot never reached even a minimal level of consistency.

That said, with better editing, some reasonably consistent character development, and a bit of care this could have been a great film. As it is, it really kind of sucked.

January 6, 2007

Jesse said:

Not everyone enjoys this esoteric style of film making. Thats perfectly understandable, but saying that Casshern “sucked” is like saying you dont like cheese but never tasted it. Only looked at it.

If you cared to take your time, there is a very precise reason why every single event, cut, shot and effect happens that can be easily explained. Discovering these things is part of what makes Casshern so satisfying to dive into multiple times. You’ll find something new with every viewing.

If you dont feel like being challenged when you see a film, thats purely a preference. But dont bash it because you didnt want to accept the challenge.

January 15, 2007

Lenny Nero said:

I was wondering if anyone here knows or bought a R3 Korean 3disc limited edition of Casshern. I really need to know if the extras, especialy the 2 hour long documentary is subtitled in English or not. Otherwise that special edition will be useless to me.

January 18, 2007

l1zrdking said:

I have to admit, I’ve tried watching it 3 times now, and have yet to finish. While i think its one of the most beautifully shot films I’ve ever seen, the combination of animation, still art, action, and atmosphere are with out a doubt incredible, the story (as far as I could get) is disjointed. Its confusing and leaves out information that .. might be useful to telling a rich engrossing story. I will finish it, but so far I’ve had to watch for awhile, stop, rest, then start again, (this coming from a guy who has watched Ishtar AND Gigli)

March 3, 2007

fin.. said:


SFAM said:

Hi Fin, that’s a good idea. I should be linking to videos of these movies more. There’s bunches out there on YouTube.

March 5, 2007

[ETM] said:

You mean “STILL out there on YouTube”… they’re slowly taking everything down. :(

March 22, 2007

Com Wedge said:

Saw Casshern last night.

Interesting film it has many layers. I just wish the Koreans did it. They just seem to make better cohesion when it comes to story telling. I’m not denying the story is complex I’m just saying that it could have been glued together a bit better. There is a level of self-indulgent exhibitionism but I think Kyle goes to far when saying that it’s incoherent. I can see through the editing process that the director and the editor fought very hard with each other during post production and is reason for most of the problems with this film.

The special effects are nothing short of brilliant. I would have liked to see more with Testuya’s mask though. Please don’t compare this film to Sky Captain as this film is way out of Sky Captain’s league.

The philosophy goes well beyond the belief in Casshern. As I understood it Casshern was a primitive god like figure who provided good fortune when the people believed but this story delves heavily into past and future lives philosophy. I have no doubt that the director/ writer has read Many Lives Many Masters by Dr Brian Weiss. Good read if you grab a copy.


March 29, 2007

David said:

I seen this on a friend’s PC a few years ago-

Thought it was very impressive for a film using relying heavily on cgi, and at times the high octane cg robotic scenes seemed to confuse one with reality. If you watch the Spiderman movies, you can see where cgi becomes the actor, and vice versa, but it’s alot harder to tell in Casshern. It’s quite an achievement for a film really, when shit like Scooby Doo and others are made on a 20-40,000,000$ budget, and look atrocious.

Don’t remember too much of the story, but the pacing was very good.

April 25, 2007

Green said:

Hi Sam! Photos i send on e-mail.

May 10, 2007

Anonymous said:

Casshern has a very dark point of view. It takes 4 brain to get whats important in the movie. The effects got ntohing to do with the movie. The music is in most of every scence but it doesn’t makes the moive sucks. I have seem so many movies but none will be as good as casshern. And this movie isn’t really about CASSHERN. Its about the villian guy. Its about him and how he become him and why he wants to destory the city. Casshern wasn’t part of the storyline, he was just there to play the good guy that can save people ass. The movie has great conversation and almost every scence is important to the movie. Not like spiderman, where theres just scences that he walk around the block or just to see a friend. Scences like don’t even have to be there. I believe casshern to be one of a best movie i seem. I know the fight scence isn’t as great as chinesse movie but the storyline and plot are wonderful…. One good one is Batman Begin..Great plot and Great movie. This kinda of movies isn’t movies the movies will have alots of action. I believe if u wants to see great actoin then you better watch 300 where its all about fighting and the movie have a terrible storyline or plot. Great movie don’t have to have alots of action or even one action at all. But it does have to have CGI and a brain to make one beautiful movie. IF u wants the plot of Casshern then all i could say is tat..If we are like thpse people in the movie then we’ll all end up in dieing. Hate and self-fish will kills us all. At the end everyone will dies. There is no peace everywhere we go or at.

Klaw said:

I have to agree with many of the positive comments on here. This has become my new favorite site to find cyberpunk movies I haven’t seen, and Cassern is the first one I looked up I’d never heard of (and got a DVD off ebay). Really, this is an incredible flick… animation, CGI, 2D graphics, steampunk, cyberpunk, wire-fu… you name it. Very low budget, and very impressive for what it did. There are some corny typically anime storylines, occasional cheesy “soft focus” flower-pedals-falling effects, and the music I found distracting… but visual references to many movies including Metropolis, Frankenstein, Matrix, Tetsuo, even Kung Fu Hustle (they were made around the same time, but it reminded me of that movie)… definitely worth checking out.

May 13, 2007

SFAM said:

Hi Klaw and friend, thanks for the nice comments!

July 19, 2007

Anonymous said:


Does anybody know if the Korean Ultimate Edition 3 Discs set and the Japanese Ultimate Edition 3 Discs set are one and the same or if there are any differences in quality, features etc?

July 28, 2007

Gasmask said:

Glad to see you reviewed Casshern. This film is one of my FAVOURITE movies of all time. I just finished watching this again, what a great film. As has been said, it is without doubt a thinking mans film and I think after watching it as much as I have I always feel I’ve gleened as much and understand it all till I watch it again and notice a few more parts to it. I would however like to hear your analisis on it you mentioned previously as with all things of depth one can always do with someone elses opinion on certain parts of it that they interperated one way or another. It might also help some of the less apreciative posters enjoy it just that little bit more. :) Glad to know I’m not the only one who loves this film though. I’m already wanting to watch it again hehe.

July 30, 2007

architech said:

“Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Very High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High”

What have you been smoking man? I must say I only managed to watch the first hour of the film because then I got so fed up with it I just had to switch it off, but I really doubt there is something cyberpunk later on.

I hardly ever comment something on the internet, but this movie really disappointed me big time.

Otherwise I like your site I just hope I won’t come across more movies like this one on here…

Gasmask said:

You can hardly comment on a movie when you havn’t even watched the whole film.

August 1, 2007

Ak!mbo said:

SFAM owns nigh every single cyberpunk or cyberpunk related title on and off the shelves. I’m sure you’ll come across something crap once in a while, Arc.I liked Casshern, despite my DVD being fucked up and somewhat choppy, though I understand why people don’t like it.
Try watchingit in a different lght and it might give you something.
Watch it thinking “this sucks, this sucks, this sucks” isn’t exactly allowing yourself the experience Casshern really is.

August 2, 2007

architech said:

Well what I was trying to say was that this movie is hardly cyberpunk related at all, yet here it says “…very high/high”. If it said low / none, fantasy steam punk I wouldn’t be annoyed if I didn’t like it…

September 4, 2007

Jesse said:

Forgive me, I didn’t know best where to put this news.

Apparently Casshern is FINALLY coming to North American in the form of a SUPER stripped down 80 minute straight to DVD “directors cut”. That’s a WHOLE HOUR removed. Casshern was already a challenge to digest and they removed an entire hour? Maybe they decided to remove anything with depth in order to simply go for a fast paced action film that anyone can enjoy.

Hopefully one day we will get a Blu-ray version with Linear PCM audio and a VC-1 codec at 1080p that includes both the stripped American version and the uncut original Japanese version. But who am I kidding?

You can pre-order it at Amazon right now…

September 5, 2007

Gasmask said:

haha i love how they call the nutered version the Directors cut… :P

September 7, 2007

Jesse said:

Hahaha, right…Directors Cut? More like Directors Cut the Film in Half.

September 17, 2007

YAZ-sama said:

In my full opinion, Casshern is one of the greatest films I have seen so far. The indulging use of colours, symbolism and storytelling create a wonderous effect in the film, and help to support the messages of social conflict, war, co-existance, and antiheroism.
Many people find the use of multiple scenes either confusing or misleading. However, the use of switching from one scene to another [eg. when Tetsuya and Luna were in the forest] helps to create a deep emotion, and lets us understand each character’s inner and outer emotions [forest scene-Tetsuya’s pain of self conflict, and Luna’s suffering of when she was alone.] It is confusing at first, but with enough attention payed, it can easily be understood and acknowledged.
I happily watch this movie over and over, and I will indeed love it in the future.

September 22, 2007

Jesse said:

The Tetsuya and Luna forest scene was absolutely brilliant. It was a flawlessly cut portrayal of emotional chaos.

Its too bad scenes like these get overlooked and dismissed with an easy “that’s confusing” or “that’s poorly edited” or any variation of the two.

November 18, 2007

O5iri5 said:

had to breakdown and buy a copy off amazon.(would have just downloaded it but my bandwith is getting lower by the minute) i enjoyed it. the first 25 minutes put me to sleep, but when i awoke the action was full steam and it was damn good. Thumbs Up

November 25, 2007

RMG said:

well… i’m a newbie at cyberpunk theme… but the easiest things that i can describe cyberpunk are near future technology, dystopia, and emotional conflict between man and machine itself (technology)… when i saw this movie for the first time (a few days ago)… it’s remind me 80s anime… the sound effect, cut scene, style, etc… i really love it… and when come to the theme… wow… so cyberpunk (if i don’t miss-describe what is cyberpunk)… it’s like watching Akira+Kamen Rider+Nazi… so stuffed… i like the fighting scene… Casshern is not an action movie… so… the fighting scenes in Casshern are only visualization of fighting… no need to long… just the outcome… and well executed in Casshern… the story is so deep… almost frustated me to decrypted it… after watching Casshern for the 2nd time… i realize that this movie isn’t random accident or else… every symbols have their meanings… damn… i’m too stupid to understand every second moments in this movie… what i want to says are…

why this movie kick ass…? (with priority)
1. The story… if you understand the whole story… it’s a masterpiece…
2. Visualization… when the secrets only come with weird symbols and events…
3. Oldies… if you like getter robo or mazinger z… you will like the fighting scene…
4. Effects… damn… i love the colors to describe the atmosphere…

so? if you haven’t seen this movie yet… grab your sandals and buy of rent this movie…

PS : sorry for my bad english…
To SFAM : i can’t wait for your 2nd page…

March 15, 2008

Lukas said:


I am an avid sci-fi lover, and most of it’s subtypes. I was expecting a lot when I first rented this movie, but all I got was a bunch of jumbled up garbage. There was absolutely no backstory besides “There was a 50 year war between man and machine”. The visuals were stunning, but visuals and special effects aren’t everything in a movie. It started off okay, a family picture (If it’s in the future, and they have robots and neo cells, why can’t they get a modern camera?) and the kid going off to war. The part that I really didn’t understand is why everyone was Asian? I mean I know it’s a Japanese movie, but c’mon! And that’s just the first few scenes. Later, things turned into a complex web of things that I was trying to figure out. Why are these mutant people here? Why is the drooling, mentally retarded mutant so annoying? Why is the lightning bolt solid? How is it possible that the mutants grow their brain if they didn’t harvest a brain in the first place? If they did, what would be the point? Where was the story? Why are people randomly appearing and disappearing and reappearing to random places? Why is there a perfectly kept castle full of robots in the middle of nowhere? Like, jeez. I’m watching a movie here, not trying to solve a rubix cube and world hunger. Also, the message behind it was bullshit also, if there was a message.

I came expecting much, left wanting my hour back. Just give me Contact and keep that horrible movie away from me.

March 19, 2008

Mr No1 said:

Lukas, I think you need to read previous comments to understand this film better. If you are able to cope with Contact, I’m sure you can find Casshern interesting enough with a bit of effort.

BTW, what happened with that page 2 with a deeper review of the plot, symbols, etc?

March 28, 2008

No Country for Old Men 2: Electric Boogaloo Coming Soon 2 You said:

Good things I can say about this movie…it was pretty.

Now everything else: Wow, trying to figure this out was like taking a drill to my skull straight into my brain. Metal Gear Awesome made more sense. This was worse than listening to Howard Stern. Jesus fucking Christ it was like they never heard of a comprehensible storyline. I honest to God, vomited, trying to figure out what the fuck just happend before my eyes at the end of the film. I’ve seen Family Guy episodes with better plot elements. Lost, makes more sense than this film. If Britney Spears were to shave her head again, and had a reality TV show with Paris Hilton and Tila Tequila where all they did was walk around Hollywood buying clothes and checking into rehab for two hours, I would tune in to MTV every single day of the week rather than watching Casshern again. This movie was so offensive to the pile of goo that was once was my brain. If they could give out the death sentence for making crappy films, this one would require an entire genocide.

Also, those robots looked totally gay.

April 3, 2008

Carpe Mortis said:

I found this site last week, and have started acquiring as many of the movies reviewed here as I can. Casshern was the second one I’ve managed to get my hands on (the first being Immortel) and the second one to blow me away. I’d like to think I have a decent history of Film viewing, but to be frank this site has certainly changed my outlook on that aspect of my life. To paraphrase: I may, or may not, know film, but I know what I like. Casshern displays (to varying degrees) almost everything I enjoy in a movie.

***Possible Spoilers***

The Plot is fairly thin on the surface (war is bad mmkay.) But underneath that think cookie crust is a chewy caramel centre. part of what makes this so delicious is we are only spoon fed the most basic elements. The deeper motivations, and sub-plots are left to us to piece together. We’re given visual and dialogue clues, and in some cases simply left to fill in the blanks ourselves. Why this level of audience participation is frowned upon is lost on me. ALL, and I do mean ALL of our most popular cyberpunk novels do the same. They present a whole and complete world with out any extemporaneous history lessons, or back story, or even resolution in some cases. Take for example the short story “Hinterlands” by Gibson (from the Burning Chrome collection). We are given just enough of a back story to establish the plausibility of the story’s events, and we are given only hints of motivation until the final revelation about the main character’s origins, and even then a vast majority of the history, motivations and resolution is left to the reader to piece together from logic and assumptions made in the story itself. Casshern does the same. Why do we need to be shown Casshern (the spirit) deliberating the best way to save his people? Why do we have to listen to a 30 minute dialogue (or monologue) on why Tetsuya wanted to go to war? Or why he refused to return his mother’s body? Given the events in the movie, and the decisions made by the characters we should be (and are) able to assign motivations,a nd determine pasts… This movie “reads” like the BEST Cyberpunk novels, and that alone is even more beautiful than its visuals.

August 16, 2008

Matthew said:

Awesome film. Not particularly into the cyberpunk thing?!? but maybe i will be now???
The first time i watched it i admit i stopped after about 40 mins. Got tired. It kind of is a slow start and if your not used to that kind of thing then its hard. Second time i got to the end…and then was gagging to watch again. 3rd time even the start was awesome…i think it was too confusing the first time, and i didnt realise things would be revealed in the way that they were. Anyway…awesome film - story - visuals - audio!!. One thing not really commented on too much is the sound track. I thought it was as near to perfect as a film could be. The souind track evokes so much extra emotion and slots in perfectly with whats happening on screen.

One of my favorite films.

Gasmask said:

August 19, 2008

Balmong said:

One thing about this film in american release alot of it was cut out, if u want to see the whole movie u will need to find an orginal jap release and it will make alot more sense and the gaps that some people have talked about will be filled in

September 3, 2008

dot said:

Isn’t this movie more steampunkish? I cannot find any cyberpunk visuals in it beside these funny and displaced mobile phones. This movie has all elements of a steam-/clockpunk movie. There are coal fires in the beginning, really big trains, thousands of cogwheels, the big analog clock in the end (was this scene from Fritz Langs Metropolis?), the old cameras and telephones, the ships with all these airscrews just to mention a few visuals which aren’t cyberpunk at all.
In my oppinion Casshern is one of the straightest steampunk movies i never saw and i got a neat airpirate feeling in several scenes. It remembered me alot to The Vision of Escaflowne.

Mr No1 said:

I really don’t like to go into controversial arguments, but the comment left by “No Country for Old Men 2 (blah, blah, blah)” is so… how would he put it? Gay? Crap? Absurd?
It amazes me how difficult is for some people to understand things and look underneath the surface…

“Gentleman”, you may try to post funny comments, but that just disgusts me…

September 23, 2008

Terrestrian said:

Ok, so as a fellow film maker who appreciates films of all kinds I have to say that the technology they used to tell their story and the boldness is inspiring. That said, by the requirements that most people go to see a movie for, interesting characters, an involving storyline(or at least coherent), and entertainment the film is a fascinating disappointment. I feel that the director is very talented but as more than one review has stated, overloads the films with so many ideas it’s like he thought this would be his only movie. Now, I have only seen the “Director’s Cut” but that was a drag enough to sit through that I have little doubt that a longer cut will do anything other than make me lose interest faster. What I dislike most is the insinuation by most of the fanboys on the forum that disliking the movie is a sign of either a lack of taste or intelligence. I like Godard and I like Spielberg, Bergman and actually some of Michael Bay. While the film is dense with symbolism so what? The film doesn’t do the hard work of actually giving me a reason to care about what’s going on. If you’ve seen an anime you will know the annoying angst ridden protagonist all too well, as well as the shallow characters and lack of attention to creating a consistent story. There’s a subset of people that will like any movie with any kind of merits, but for most people this film takes itself way too seriously to be fun, only to come up with a simple moral that while it employs every symbol and metaphor under the sun doesn’t engage the audience with any real sophistication. The problem that undermines the entire movie is that it’s one dimensional. You aren’t going to ever watch the film for nuanced performances. You aren’t going to enjoy it for the way it develops it’s plot, and it’s way too long and deadly serious to really enjoy solely for the visuals. And it’s not a matter of not wanting to do the work, it’s really not having a reason to care. And while good cyberpunk novels may let you figure out some things on your own you can read a Gibson story and feel that you are reading a story about REAL PEOPLE, they have dialogue that reveals character in different ways, and despite all the cool trappings of cyberpunk they inhabit a world of humans that underneath it all isn’t too different from what we live in. Being an artist isn’t about having ideas, it’s about the mastery of your medium, he’s got the visual aspect down, now he needs to give up the editor’s chair and screenplay to more capable talents.

September 25, 2008

Mr No1 said:

“If you’ve seen an anime you will know the annoying angst ridden protagonist all too well, as well as the shallow characters and lack of attention to creating a consistent story.” - You are generalising too much there…

Terrestrian said:

You’re absolutely right, I am actually a huge anime fan and while they are of course different beasts a movie like Jin Roh or the Ghost in the Shell movies while fairly obtuse have characters that seem real and human. Grave of the Fireflies had characters more real than most live action movies, Casshern included. Even a headtrip of a movie like Satoshi Kon’s has believable characters. My main point to boil it down is, there’s way too much going on in the movie and if Kiriya had seemed to be more in control of the material like he was the visuals it would be a classic but if you’re going to ask me to sit through 2 and half hours of movie at least do the hard work of creating a compelling narrative, which I don’t think anyone can argue this movie has. It’s frustrating because I wanted to love this movie but it’s nearly unwatchable.

September 26, 2008

No Country for Old Men 2: Electric Boogaloo Coming Soon 2 You said:

Mr. No1 is what I like to call, oh what is it? Oh yeah, a FAGGOT.

September 27, 2008

Gasmask said:

Casshern has shown us, in the film that war must stop and is ultimatly pointless so has its message board on its review shown us, thanks to No Country’s posts that argueing with the inept must stop as it only brings more stupidity into the world with harsh posts of no intelligence and even less maturity.

Like Casshern No Country has failed at comprehending life… He only understood a little and he got that little bit wrong too.

October 3, 2008

Brandon said:

I think its’ an absolutely wonderful film, but I’m not sure if id call it cyberpunk.
It has elements of cyberpunk yes, but it’s got a lot more to do with other “punks” like steam and bio.

Gasmask said:

I dunno as far as I think they all have the same spirit and bio and steam are kinda all a derivative of the same philosophy and style. I think yes you’d label it steampunk or biopunk but they’re all under the cyberpunk umbrella. You might say they are the different faces of the same beast. Though I would agree its tehnically steampunk i wouldn’t say its not cyberpunk.

March 6, 2009

yoha said:

I saw this while back at a film festival, though can’t actually remember whole lot of the movie itself (which is basicly a bad sign already; it’s the meaningless stuff I don’t remember). One thing I do remember is walking out of the theather afterwards not knowing should I laugh or cry, and mostly just wanting to bang my head to the wall cause of the sheer pain of all that pointless nonsense; by being the most phoniest and fakiest silly little eye candy dramaqueen flick I’ve ever seen. I also remember telling everybody afterwards what a terrible stupid piece of junk it was, cause I found it so ridiculous it actually somewhat upset me with it’s mere existance even.

I do realize I might have to watch this eye-needle collasion again at some point, since lot of seemingly intelligent people actually have found some deeper meaning in it (heck, it’s even rated 8 stars over here, oh dear god brrrh..). Maybe I just had a bad low blood sugar night or something, and couldn’t keep up with the constant light wavelenght abuse, or maybe the theaters horribly uncomfy ancient wooden seats cut the circulation to my brain, who knows. In any case, I’m prone to doubt I’ll find it any better the next time..

March 26, 2009

nuderobot said:

I thought Casshern was pure eye-candy, devoid of anything other than nice visuals. It’s as if the film were made by a bunch of amateurs who’ve seen nothing but bad music videos all their lives. There is no character development, actions are taken without rhyme or reason, and things just happen without any attempt to explain or justify them. I tried to sit through the entire film but finally had to turn it off because I grew bored — I don’t think there’s a great deal of danger of my impression of the entire movie being off the mark because of that, because to make that happen the final few reels would have had to suddenly improve to the level of the ‘Godfather’, and that still wouldn’t make up for the rest of the movie.

September 29, 2009

۞D†I†S†E†A†S†E۞ said:

i think that this movie is pretty good not just an eye candy … >__>

March 5, 2010

OhNo said:

I just dont understand. I bought the dvd for about one euro in a media markt, didnt really had any expectations, but when the movie was over I felt like I was raped.
Give me my money back!
Oh man, this movie is a pain!

March 11, 2010

Mary said:

I really tried to understand this film but I didn´t get it. So many things happened without any connections. The makers probably thought: Symbolism+effects+good looking actors+shitty hard rock=good movie.

About the effects and eye candy: the visuals aren´t that great. And the fight scenes looked cheap (ROBOTS) and aweful. They are jumping and running like in an old video game.

I watched the TV-series and I was expecting a little bit more story and human-robot-interactions (not fighting). All the “I´m-a-robot-but-I´m-afraid-of-death-conflict is missing.

Sorry but it´s like Matrix without story.

July 2, 2011

Ricker said:


July 3, 2011

G4sM4sk said:

I’m pretty sure based on your comment Ricker that you arn’t Casshern’s target audience. The target audience being, of course; intelligent people.

Ricker said:

Obviously i didn’ t get to the point.
First thing i want to say is thta i still confirm the previous comment, however i’m willing to explain why i wrote it.
First thing i want to say, is that this movie is one of the most auto-referential and manieristic stuff I ever came across, every visual device, every scene, every frame of this movie is made to please the technical skill of the director and his team. This is not good at all, you can be as good as you can in using every single fancy technological devices but if you don’t use it for improving a good story you are as void as you technique is.
Second point the story: i’m not one of the purist who react veementely if the original manga story is changed, however this movie has absolutely no depth at all!!Characters are not shaped in their personality, you can see for all the movies people that behave in an almost schizophreical way, changing completely their reaction every time they show up! The story is absolutely pointless and trivial, you can count three major events in all the movie which are so swollen that it takes 45 minutes to the story to go on to another pointless and trivial dialogue over life death and every touching stuff in the world.
Dialogue are trivial and useless, can impress only a 12 years old boy.
Third point the landscapes are terrifing and totally non sense, first you are in a tentacolar megalopolis and 5 minutes later you are in a wood, that seems came out of a child dream about fairy and elves.
Fourth the fighting scene are the worst i ever seen in my life, so bad filmed and confused, you can barely understand what they are doing.
That is way i consider Chassern an enormous flying shit, from every point of view you cand consider this movie, it sucks bad.

August 23, 2011

Duckman48 said:

Hy, I really like this movie, first I watched it when I was in Japan, so I didn’t understand any of the story, yet I was fascinated by the visuals.
Now I own the movie and seen it a lot of times and i love every moment of it. This is the kind of movie that divide people, and I understand th haters opinion, but this is not your usual movie, I don’t really care if the landscape changes irrationally, or that many questions remain unanswered in the end.
By the way, the director’s next movie Goemon, though not cyberpunk, is also worth a view in my opinion.

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